4 Restaurants Where You'll Never, Ever, Get a Table

These are absolutely the hottest, trendiest eateries in America today — and nyah, nyah, nyah, you can't get in

4 Restaurants Where You'll Never, Ever, Get a Table
Wikimedia Commons/Guillaume Paumier

Restaurants used to be places where people went to relax, be comfortable, get waited on, places where part of the appeal was that they got to choose from a whole menu full of dishes — with sauce on the side if you wanted it that way. (The very word restaurant, remember, comes from the French verb restaurer, to restore; you were supposed to feel better leaving than you did going in.)

Today, restaurants are something else: experiences, challenges, sometimes ordeals. Arrive at 5:30 or 10:30, not any reasonable dinner hour; sit in cramped quarters on tiny chairs; eat what the chef tells you to eat, and you'll take the damn sauce and like it. Oh, and no friggin' photos, dirtbag! What's important isn't being cosseted and well-fed, anymore, it's submitting to the authoritarian strictures of some arbiter of culinary taste who is obviously far, far hipper than you'll ever be. And — even more important — doing it before anybody else does.

Competition for reservations at such establishments is heated, and actually winning a (probably uncomfortable) seat at one of them is considered by some restaurant-goers to be the ultimate personal accomplishment. With that in mind, The Daily Meal has decided to showcase the four restaurants around the country that everybody who's anybody wants to go to most — places that are too cool to show up in the guidebooks, and far too in for any outsider. Restaurants, we regret to inform you, that an ordinary food-lover like you can only dream about.


Chunkie's Corner Brooklyn, N.Y.

Taking the concept of "street food" to its inevitable apotheosis, 19-year-old Otto "Chunkie" Blutwurst— who honed his skills as a grammar-school cafeteria monitor, then went on to earn instant acclaim for his ill-fated Eat It Or Starve on Manhattan's Upper West Side, which opened to great fanfare in late 2010 and closed after lunch — has eschewed not only bricks-and-mortar but also trucks, trailers, carts, and stands. "You could call this a 'virtual restaurant'," says Blutwurst. "If you were some stupid phony, or something."

How does it work? Exactly 19 lucky souls (chosen at random from the membership rolls of Match.com and the New York City Municipal Credit Union) gather on the corner of Keelhaul Terrace and St. Flocellus Street in the Rottenwood section of Brooklyn exactly 19 minutes after sundown every evening (a security force of pensioned-off Guardian Angels enforces the temporal parameters), mill around aimlessly until the unmistakable rat-a-tat-tat of a driveby gang shooting is heard from two streets over, and then line up in ascending order of height along the curb while Blutwurst and his team race by on their vintage Schwinn Couriers and toss exquisitely crafted morsels (Mangalitsa pork-fat shooters, rattlesnake-and-cannabis hand rolls, rabbit tartare with catfish-liver crostini, and the like) — though never quite enough of them to go around —into the air above their heads. Hilarity ensues. 


4-Edge Poisonfish, Mont.

Diners at Abraxis and Aphelion Satansdottir's rustic retreat — with its damp log walls covered with undulating bog moss, dirt floors alive with earthworms, and mismatched kiddie-size camp stools haphazardly arranged around massive moldy tree stumps — don't have to ask how fresh their food is: They know because they've had to forage (get it?) the ingredients themselves. "We're loco for locavoring," chirp the stylishly emaciated sisters in eerie unison.

Would-be customers have to pass a 30-page written exam covering botany, orienteering, divining, and warp knitting, among other topics. Those who get at least a B+ receive a trail map to the restaurant (be forewarned: rock-climbing, whitewater rafting, and a slog through quicksand are involved), and an illustrated guide to victuals they might encounter along the way — among them, 49 varieties of leaves, six species of river toad, and two kinds of edible pebbles.

"You eat what you bring, period," note the siblings, who add that they are minimalists in the kitchen: Most foraged foods are simply steamed over glacier water, then seasoned with nothing more than cobwebs from the Satansdottirs' extensive personal collection. 

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tepluken's picture

I would probably avoid these places. they are for weirdos, and the leisure class

seafoodexpert's picture

As a critic, freelance writer, son of a college English professor, all-out food fanatic and unforgiveable prankster, I loved this piece. Loved how it started semi-believable, and built from there. As I was reading, I thought after the first restaurant, "Well, I used to live in Manhattan. That's plausible." Second one, I was leery, third, "I smell bullshit!" Fourth was the coup de grace. You had me going there. Yes I agree with other poster, wish you had not ended with the disclaimer. With no fair warning of intent, I'm sure there would have been far more comments from gullible people about your fictitious places, and yes, hilarity would have ensued. God and seaweed pollen. Brilliant. I talked with a chef customer the other day who wanted to do a small appetizer of a mini bourbon-marinated lobster tail encased in a fresh mint paste as a take on a dish to complement the Kentucky Derby's mint julep. Whatever, Chef. Just sign the invoice, sir.

reneehg's picture

Just saw the post where Anonymous Googled to see how goodlooking Thane was and I fell out laughing out loud. Too funny.

reneehg's picture

You had me reading with my eyebrows up, but you got me. Very clever.


This is confusing because it's not true but it's also not funny like humor usually is.


Sorry but you ruin the whole thing by putting the disclaimer in about it "being a satire". Isnt the whole point of "the satire" that it is lost on the readers who dont get it? That's like " The Onion" proclaiming itself on the masthead. Lost all your cool.

666katwoman's picture

Chunkie's Corner sounded cool...


Really, are people that dumb that they didn't get the joke? [sigh]

rbilleaud's picture

Alright, you had me going there right up til the end. Truth is, with some of the weird s*** out there, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see something like this actually come about. Exclusivity makes people do crazy stuff.

drie313's picture



Clever. I sat here the whole time saying to myself, "No way. There's just no way. Please tell me this is a joke."

BILL PULK's picture


jucic13's picture

I just assume you didn't actually want to go out and do research on restaurants too difficult for you to get into without the month wait list.
Well, as long as you still have a job. Kudos.


Was this supposed to get us to care?



How stupidly pretentious!! Come on....people need to eat, true. But to stand subservient, hoping to taste some liver thingie?? Eat properly, enjoy it and stop being so full of both yourself and where you eat! For crying out loud!

snugglesaurus's picture

I was about to go batsht crazy about the last one. So called Tough Guy wasn't gonna be so tough after I unleased my gluten free muscles on him. :)

dc0wb0y's picture

I didn't read the article. You probably ask why. Well, if I can't get in, why read about them!!!


Why can't I read any of the 302 comments? Major fail.


There is no better way to ensure that NO ONE will return to your site than to have auto-starting videos hidden at the bottom of the page. This isn't MySpace and only pathetic websites still do it in 2011.

Welcome to my Hosts file. Along with all the other worthless annoying sites that I don't want to even ACCIDENTALLY visit via a link.


I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that that was funny.


What an incredible writeup! I bought it hook, line and sinker until I read the disclaimer. I actually googled Thane Pompadoo to see how good-looking he is!!

The author really has the pulse of the times - so many ridiculous 'concepts' have come out in fine dining recently that this story is all to believable.

Bravo, for having the self awareness to mock the more ridiculous aspects of your own business and the writing talent to execute the satire so well!


Well...this just wasn't a very good article was it?


And you wonder why some of the so called 99% are unemployed.


Is this crap supposed to be funny?
In any case, Yahoo apparently doesn't get it either, because they put it on their front page as a real article.


I got your point and I couldn't agree more.

Nightmary32's picture

So glad to see that those restaurants were a spoof...had be going for a few !!!

bubbles's picture

Thank God for the followup. I was thinking "who the heck would want to eat at any of theses places?". Thanks for the laugh.




Is this article funny?



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